Meet Theodora and Chad, ducks with character. Art by Sara Varon. Image source: First Second Books.
Odd Duck, a new graphic novel from First Second, contains two of my favorite pairings of the year: Theodora and Chad, two unusual ducks who discover they appreciate each other’s quirks as much as all the things they have in common; and Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon, the author and illustrator of this mirthful tale.
I first encountered Cecil through her books (Rose sees Red was a standout among the hundreds of YA novels I read as a CYBILs Award judge in 2010) and was delighted when our paths crossed at a couple of publishing-industry conventions the following year. Sara Varon’s Bake Sale wooed my entire family with its whimsical, sometimes wistful, art.
A Castellucci/Varon collaboration promised to be huge amounts of fun, and Odd Duck is exactly that. Thoughtful, comical, and full of heart, it has become one of my family’s favorite books of the year. I asked Cecil to share a glimpse behind the scenes at the creation of Odd Duck.
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Don’t Forget The Towel! Photo from flick user puuikibeach under CC.
In honor of Towel Day, I could tell you about my love for Douglas Adams and how much The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy means to me. Instead, I want to tell you about my little life experiment with towels and encourage you to take my unofficial Towel Day pledge with me!
It all started one December day many years ago. I was bouncing around ideas for a New Year’s resolution the way people do around that time of the year. The recurring theme of my New Year’s resolutions for most of my adult life has been about changing my habits to become more environmentally friendly. One of the wasteful habits that had been bothering me the most was the use of paper towels around the office. I’m in the office for nine hours a day where I use the bathroom probably an average of four times (four paper towels), clean my tea mug and water bottle every morning (two paper towels), and clean my lunch containers and silverware every lunch (two paper towels). That adds up to an average of eight paper towels per day, 40 per week, and over 2,000 paper towels per year. At home, I had kicked the paper towel habit a couple of years prior (also a New Year’s resolution), so the situation at work was really bothering me.
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42 © Lincolnian via Flickr
Any good geek knows that the answer to the great question of life, the universe and everything is 42. But were you aware just how often that number has crept up in pop culture? From apartment numbers to Hurley numbers, dates to car registrations, the number 42 is everywhere when you start looking hard enough. Here are 42 examples of the number turning up in pop culture.
1. The first reference that Douglas Adams made to 42 was during a sketch called “The Hole in the Wall Club” in which Griff Rhys Jones mentions the 42nd meeting of the Crawley and District Paranoid Society.
2. In Star Trek, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) has 42 decks.
3. In The X-Files, Agent Mulder lives at apartment 42.
4.In Caprica the license plate of Starbuck’s truck is “FB 42 E3.
5. In Spore, the Staff of Life is limited to 42 uses.
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As usual, on Saturdays I get to announce our Puzzle of The Week winner who was selected at random from all the correct entries. Many congratulations to:
Here is last week’s puzzle.
Identify the movie from the following track titles taken from its soundtrack:
- Doors Open from Both Sides
- Don’t Take My Stuff
- They Called It
So the solution we needed was:
Look out for a new puzzle starting tomorrow.
From the Molly Danger Free Comic Book Day issue, by Jamal Igle and Jeremy Whitley, copyright Jamal Igle. Molly Danger was made possible via a Kickstarter campaign.
This week’s adventures climbing the cliffs of insanity include a look at several awesome kickstarter comic projects that have come to fruition, including Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore’s much-anticipated story, a great post on the origins of Lois Lane, and a video that my youngest son hunted up because the music was used at the beginning of Iron Man 3.
But first, I believe I’m in love with Kickstarter.
For years, I kept hearing there’s no market for books staring non-sexually exploitive female characters or by female creators. Then Jamal Igle’s Molly Danger raised over $50,000, Simone and Calafiore’s Leaving Megalopolis raised over $100,000 and Flesh of White, a horror story by the relatively little-known Erica Heflin and Amanda Rachels exceeded their goal for issue #1, and have fully funded issue #2 with nine days still to go. (That means you can still back it! Go!).
- A character card from Flesh of White #2′s Kickstarter page, copyright Inverse Press
I received the first issue, a horror mini-series set in Africa concerning the fate of a much-loved but much wanted albino baby, after backing issue #1. Read more →
This week the GeekMom writers found so many cool videos on the internet; I don’t even know where to start! Tap dancing, mock movie trailers (think Star Wars), game reviews that involve cooking, making burritos in space — you name it, it’s possible we found it. A few of my favorites from this week are here to get your attention, but there are many more in the weekly playlist.
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Violet Tea Image by Lilianna Maxwell
My daughter is a student at the Boston School of Herbal Studies. She came home from a weekend class excited about making violet flower tea. She collected a handful of violet flowers from our lawn and placed them in a jar. Then she poured boiling water over them and let it sit for 24 hours. The concoction turns a lovely shade of blue that can be sweetened with sugar.
Violets steeping Image by Lilianna Maxwell
On Mother’s Day, she put out the violet tea for me along with a small pitcher of lemon juice and told me to watch as I poured some in. It turned pink! It tasted delicious!
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Rory, our new geek. Photo: Jenny Williams
The past several months have been an interesting and very rewarding experience. The kids and I have managed to integrate a new geek into our home and our family.
Rory moved in last December. It was an easy transition for me, since I’m the one who wanted him there. It was a bigger challenge for the kids, since they’d had a much harder time with the divorce than I did. Plus, Rory was now in a role that, while not replacing their dad to the kids, filled the partner role in my life. But, we found that with shared interests, both those that had already been established and those that were newly acquired, everyone bonded more closely.
The kids and I brought a lot of board games to the table. I’ve loved games my whole life. My daughter also enjoys them. My son is obsessed. Rory’s often up for a good challenge, and has really enjoyed playing games with us. We also have been introducing and encouraging a lot of geek culture in him. Star Trek, Doctor Who, and the like.
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I love TMNT. Can you tell? \ Image: Dakster Sullivan
Many parents start baby books for their children. Looking at my son’s book, I realized he won’t learn as much about his early years through his baby book as he will through my Facebook page and the posts I’ve written for GeekMom.
The other day at my mom’s house, I discovered my baby book. I’ve never seen it before and she warned me not to be disappointed that it wasn’t filled out completely. Having a son of my own, I completely understand that she only filled it in up to my third year of life.
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20th Century Fox
It’s a bold move to name your movie Epic. That’s a lot to live up to, even if you’re pretty sure your movie might be epic. Fortunately for us moviegoers, Epic lives up to its name.
I had a feeling I’d like this movie from the moment I saw the bit of animation in the trailer where beautifully-rendered dandelions suddenly turn to reveal themselves as tiny people. Stunning. My daughter and I were invited to the premiere here in New York City, and we had an epic morning. (We totally walked the red carpet, even if it was a green carpet.) We were certainly in a frame of mind to enjoy the show.
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